A battery hen spend its life in a cage with up to seven other
birds. Cages are kept in huge artificially lit sheds, the hen
stands on thin slopping wire, her feet and legs are crippled.
There are rats running about chewing off their leggs and what
ever elce they can eat. The hens don't do any of the activities
that are known as extremely important to the behavioural needs
of a hen. Such as preening, perching, scratching in the dirt,
bathing in dust, spreading her wings, or escaping to a quiet
place to lay an egg.
Battery hens are prone to broken bones, due to the over-production
of eggs and lack of exercise. By the time they are finally slaughtered
up to 56% of caged hens have suffered very painful fractures.
Farmers of battery hens cut of a third of the hens beak with
a hot wire guillotine to stop them pecking. This cause severs
pain and may chickens die of shock, and the hens that do survive
suffer severe pain for months and even years later -this is because
the nerves in the chickens beak are still active. Many have great
difficulty eating for the rest of their lives.
Hens moult in Autumn and because of this they don't lay eggs
for 2 - 3 months. To reduce this time farmers starve the hens
either totally or partly. This brings them back on-lay quicker,
but many hens die during this process.When the hens are past
their laying peak they are stuffed into crates, shipped to the
abattoir, shackled upside down on a conveyor belt to await slaughter.
Many hens suffer multiple fractures during this process.
If you have any humanty and empathy for these poor creatures
that were put on this earth just like us, and have as much right
as us to be treated with respect. Please stop eating mass produced
batter eggs, the organic alternative is not as expensive as you
may think. Also you need to bare in mind that some supermarkets
and shops label eggs with titles such as "freash farm eggs"
and similar phrases. These are NOT organic, they ARE
battery eggs - so don't get ripped off!
Although there may be many benefits from GM food in the future,
there are also too many unanswered questions.
Are GM foods safe?
According to the latest consumer surveys (by the Consumers
Association - GM food campaign, in Sep. 2004), consumers' opposition
is continuing to grow from their last survey in their GM Dilemmas
report in 2002. They found that only about a quarter of respondents
found food from a GM plant acceptable, compared with around a
third (32 per cent) in 2002. About a quarter (26 per cent) favour
the growing of GM crops in the UK, compared with around a third
(32 per cent) in 2002. Overall 61% of respondents were concerned
about the use of GM in food production, and the long term effects
are their greatest concern.
There was a Citizens' Jury held in 2003 by the Consumers Association
- GM food campaign, Unilever, The Co-op and Greenpeace, to continue
the debate on wether GM crops should be grown in the UK. After
six weeks of evidence from a wide range of expert witnesses about
all the issues related to GM foods, the juries called foe a moratorium
(agreed suspension of activity) on the commercialisation of GM
to continue and for government field trials to be continued in
the long term.
There is still concern about the Government's policy to approve
the commercialisation of GM crops, albeit on a case by case basis.
The Consumers Association GM food campaign is urging the Government
not to agree to the commercial growing of crops, until outstanding
consumer concerns have been addressed.
Groups such as Consumers' Association (the former campaigning
name of Which?), National Consumer Council, Genewatch, Friends
of the Earth, National Trust, Five Year Freeze, Sustain, National
Federation of Women's Institutes and UNISON, representing eight
million UK citizens, all wrote to the Prime Minister on 5th March
2004. The letter was to call for the Government to respond to
the members and supporters, as well as those in the public generally,
not by allowing the commercial use of GM crops in the UK at this
However, the Government gave the go-ahead in March 2004 to
the commercial growing of GM maize in the UK. This decision is
believed to be a direct snub to the opinions and worries of the
majority in the public debate process. However, consumers and
the Government have been given some breathing space and a chance
to see concerns addressed, because Bayer - the company whose
maize variety was approved, has announced that it will not be
growing the maize after all, as it does not consider it to be
NOTE: The information regarding GM foods is from the Consumers
Association - GM food campaign website - Thank you Consumers
Association - GM food!
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